Good Intentions – Muddy Results, Granada Appoints Sanchez as Trustee


Granada Road After Rains (Courtesy Photo)

Granada Road After Rains
(Courtesy Photo)

It took about thirty minutes into the May 13th Granada Trustees meeting to develop a solution to the muddy street situation in the town. And all the problems started apparently because of recent rain. Two dozen residents filled the Complex, angry that their roads had become impassable because of the mud, a result of a topping project from several weeks earlier.

Resident Martha Medina was on the meeting agenda for public comment, and asked simply,” With regard to the roads, what’s going to happen with them?”  Mayor C.W. DeForest responded that little could be done for a while because of their condition from the weather, “We’re trying to get them chip-sealed, but the rains messed the roads in town, we had to blade them off and now we’re going to have to go back and restructure things.  We may not be able to do anything for quite a while.”

Capacity Crowd on Road Issues

Capacity Crowd on Road Issues

DeForest said the town went with engineering recommendations on laying a dirt mix on the roads which would have been packed down by traffic and a chip seal would have followed.  “When it dries out again, we’ll try to get it on again,” he stated.  One resident asked how long it would take, as the current pack had been laid down for a while and even had snow on it?  The mayor said the town doesn’t have a big budget for a fully equipped road crew, so it will take a while for the surface to be packed down again.

Other residents raised their voices in concern about the current situation and the difficulty in getting improved roads in the recent past.  Once resident, Chris Choate, said he had paid for his own road improvements in front of his own house and was critical of the blend of the soil mixed with clay.  “Every time this gets wet, it goes right back to mud,” he stated, passing around recent photos of several muddy streets.  Suggestions included just paving what’s left of the road with gravel to maintain a drivable surface, while other residents began asking questions about leveling roads to allow some drainage into side ditches and contacting CDOT to see if roto-mill from the overpass project would be available.

Mark Dorenkamp, Prowers County Road and Bridge Manager was on hand, along with County Commissioners, Ron Cook and Wendy Buxton-Andrade.  Dorenkamp said the blend the county laid down used clay with the assumption that the weather would stay dry.  He suggested a gravel top be used for the time being, adding the cost of chip sealing one mile of road would cost $22,000 for materials and labor.  Choate told the audience that gravel would work fine and said that a regional business, Holly Rock, was selling gravel at $5.50 a ton and the town could be paved with it for $12,000 at that price.  Dorenkamp explained to the gathering that the county would remove the current mix on the roads and haul in gravel for a new top.  Commissioner Cook told the Trustees, “If you would pay for the gravel, we can make it work for hauling the material.”

Tom Sanchez Being Sworn in as Trustee

Tom Sanchez Being Sworn in as Trustee

Wednesday was also the first night on the job as a Trustee for Tom Sanchez who was sworn in earlier following a vote on the vacant position.  He will be replacing Shannon Venturi who resigned several months earlier.  Sanchez told the audience he was born and raised in Granada, “I thought I might be able to offer something to the town.  I’ve had fifteen years experience working for the City of Lamar.  I think I might bring a younger perspective to the council, or perhaps a different form of view.”  He will serve as a Trustee until the next election in April.

In other action, the Trustees approved the use of a business card for purchases from Tractor Supply in Lamar and approved a bid for waxing the floors at the Complex.  Dana and Natalie Musick told the Trustees the fireworks fund is lacking $1,000 needed to purchase next year’s display on July 3.  “We just don’t have the time to go out and collect from door to door,” he explained, stating they have a $600 carry-over.  Some suggestions included setting donation jars at several locations in town.

Police Chief David Dougherty explained that the Lamar Police Department has applied for a multi-agency JAG grant of $750,000 to replace all two way radios in the 15th Judicial District.  “The current radios will be obsolete in four years,” Dougherty stated.  He said if the grant is approved, the two mobile and two hand held radios used in Granada would be replaced at no cost.  The usually retail for $4,500 each which the town would need to purchase if the grant is rejected.  He said there is a possibility that only 80% of the request would be granted.  Dougherty said bids will be opened on May 14 from four contractors who submitted their estimates for the sidewalk to schools safety project that began last year.

An idea to let residents cut firewood from the landfill was discussed.  Now, the wood is either burned or buried.  Trustee Argie Thrall said, “It seems like an awful waste to haul nice wood out there and shove it into a pit and try to burn it.  Some of the bigger trees and limbs could be set aside for use.  It would relieve some of the pressure on the dump and the residents could be asked to sign a release to cut their wood at the dump.  It just makes sense to me.”  The discussion focused on insurance liabilities and any issues the state might have with the practice at the dump.  John McMillan, Granada Maintenance Manager said he’d check the rules and regulations for any potential violations.  Complex rentals were approved for the Dutch Oven Cookers for June 20-21 and a birthday party on August 8.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinessCommissionersFeaturedGranadaHollyProwers CountyPublic SafetyTransportationWeather


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